Fiskars Kicks Off 2015 Project Orange Thumb Community Garden Initiative

November 18, 2015 by

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Community gardening cultivates many things: creative expression, beautiful outdoor spaces, civic and community collaboration, healthy hand-grown foods and sustainable living.

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As a leader in the garden industry celebrating and supporting community gardening, Fiskars launched Project Orange Thumb, a community garden initiative that provides groups across the U.S. and Canada with the tools, materials, and resources they need to create beautiful and productive community garden spaces.

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I have been invited back this year to be a member of the Fiskars Project Thumb Editorial Board which selects Project Orange Thumb grant recipients, and I encourage your community gardening organization to apply. (Take a peek at last year’s recipients.)

Since 2002, community organizations in the U.S. and Canada have applied for Project Orange Thumb grants consisting of cash and garden tools. Fiskars’ Project Orange Thumb has provided over $1.6 million to more than 180 community groups.

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Project Orange Thumb Supports Urban, Educational, and Therapeutic Gardens
Urban Gardens
In the heart of cities crowded with surrounded by skyscrapers and far from farmland, urban community gardens help provide economically challenged communities often living in food deserts with much-needed food and expose people to the idea of growing their own produce.

Educational Gardens
Developed in schools that house students K-12, these garden programs aim to encourage active conversations around healthy living practices, the importance of taking care of the environment, and sustainable communities. Produce harvested is typically donated to families in need at the school or used in the cafeteria to feed the students.

Therapeutic Gardens
These gardens are instituted by groups looking to provide growth and nurturing environments to their participants. Organizations offer educational experiences and garden therapy for people looking to seek solace, whether it be veterans coping with PTSD or members of the community dealing with the loss of a loved one.

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About Community Gardens
According to the National Gardening Association (NGA), in the past five years the number of community gardens tripled from 1 million to 3 million–a 200% increase. An NGA report shows that more young people, particularly millennials (ages 18-34), are the fastest growing population segment of food gardeners.

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Fiskars is now accepting applications for its 2016 grant program through February 1, 2016 11:59 p.m. CST. Grant recipients will be selected by members of the Project Orange Thumb editorial board, composed of influential garden bloggers in collaboration with Fiskars and will be announced March 2, 2016. Project Orange Thumb applications can be found on the Fiskars website here.

All photos via Fiskars.

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